It’s a great weekend of football for many high school football players. Players from across Saskatchewan will be flocking to Humboldt region for the Kelly Bates Football Camp the weekend of April 21. Planning for the camp has been going on all year, said Bates, former CFL player and current running backs coach for the B.C. Lions and CFL draft coordinator. “At this point in time, everything looks good,” said Bates. “Our venue is set, our numbers are set — we have 100 kids coming to this camp again — our coaches roster is set. Really, we’re down to the point now where, as far as the football camp itself goes, we are ready to go. “We just have to come to town, have the kids come to town and play some football,” he laughed. This year, there have been some changes to the camp. In the past, the camp has been held at Glenn Hall Park. “We felt this year, based on the way things have gone in past years, we would look for a venue that was more productive for the camp, going forward and organizing it,” said Bates. “St. Peter’s College really stepped up and asked us if they could be part of the camp and if we would consider coming out there — it just felt like a natural fit for us.” He explained it is a natural fit because it is a post-secondary institute. A lot of the players coming to the camp are looking to play football past high school. “At some point in time, if they are going to take that career seriously, they will proceed to university or through junior to university and it seemed like a natural fit for us,” said Bates. There are also some changes to the coaching lineup. “Our coaches and staff change a little every year,” said Bates. “We have such a great spectrum of coaches coming.” This year, there are coaches right from the high school level to CFL coaches — including Khari Jones and Barron Miles, both Saskatchewan Roughriders coaches. “There’s always a little bit of change,” said Bates. “You always want to bring in some new coaches to change the environment a little bit.” The camp only allows 100 players. “I think if we left it open we would have a lot more,” said Bates. He explained they have to put a 100-player cap on the camp in order to give the players that get in the best opportunity to learn. Bates is excited to come out to his hometown and work with high school players. He said it is a break from coaching at the CFL level. “It allows me to do something just a little bit different from what I am doing right now,” said Bates. He also enjoys seeing the commitment to football the players at the camp have. “You get to teach kids that want to be at a camp like this,” said Bates. “These kids and their parents are making a commitment to making these kids better at the sport of football. “The way I see it, not only are they going to improve their play on the field but we like to say that by becoming a better football player, you become a better person.” He is also looking forward to the comedy night in Humboldt on April 20, which helps support the camp. “We have national level talent coming out again for the comedy night — it’s a great evening,” said Bates. Bates is always grateful for the support from the community. “A camp like this doesn’t happen without the support of the community,” said Bates. “Humboldt has always been amazing, the business community is excellent and all of my sponsors make this camp happen.” For more information about the camp, visit www.kellybates.ca.